Review

Matthew Dear

Beams

Ghostly International • 2012

On his fifth record, Matthew Dear sounds more than ever like Bowie and Eno, two of his biggest idols – though the American producer, DJ and avant-pop-artist has never tried to hide his British influences from the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, on tracks like »Earthforms«, he moves away from his electronic roots and thereby adds a variety and width to »Beams«, which we haven’t heard from Dear so far. Especially his talent for vocals enfolds to its full effect. The new transparency might make a conceptual frame, like on his previous album »Black City«, impossible, but »Beams« is trying to bridge the gap between the monotony of his down-to-earth house and his joy for melodiously and rhythmically meandering vocals. They make 6-minute songs, which were once created as club-tracks, seem like a light-hearted popsong, which is probably the most remarkable thing about the record. Hardly ever before has he dared to get this close to the edge and beyond – and even though »Beams« in its entirety as an album tends to come to a halt every now and then, Matthew Dear’s statement can be interpreted in the most positive sense: »I’m getting ahead of myself«.